Chronos: Before the Ashes

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Chronos: Before the Ashes Game Poster Image
Fun fantasy game has lots of combat, some bloody scenes.

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Kids say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This is a role-playing adventure game that lets you take on the role of a young hero (or heroine) who's trying to save their home from an ancient evil. On that basis, it's positive, but the main focus is on combat against creatures, which can be a negative thing.

Positive Role Models

Not much is known about the young hero of the story. But because you're protecting your homeland against an evil force, the customizable character is inherently positive. You can choose to be a male or a female, but can't choose their skin color. That said, the protagonist does focus heavily on violent altercations to advance through the story. The game serves as a prequel to Remnant: From the Ashes.

Ease of Play

While some gamers may liken Chronos: Before the Ashes to the Dark Souls games, it's nowhere near as difficult. There are varying difficult levels to choose from at the start of the game. In an unique twist, every time you die in the game, you age one year, so your character may not be young for too long. The controls are fairly simple to pick up.

Violence

While not overly graphic, much of the gameplay focuses on combat, such as hacking and slashing a sword, swinging clubs and axes, and using spears. There's blood shown when you strike an enemy, but not gore. You might see blood-stained walls or a pool of blood on the floor of a dungeon.

Sex
Language

There's some mild profanity, including words like "bastard," "damn," and "hell."

Consumerism

The game serves as a prequel to Remnant: From the Ashes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know Chronos: Before the Ashes is a fantasy role-playing game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, and Windows PCs. The game serves as a prequel to Remnant: From the Ashes. Players take on the role of a hero trying to save their home from an ancient evil. You can wield several different weapons, such as swords and axes, to kill fantastical enemies from a cinematic third-person perspective. When creatures are damaged or dying, there's some blood, and there are pools of blood sometimes seen in the environment, but no gore. There's also some mild profanity, including words like "bastard," "hell," and "damn."

User Reviews

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Kid, 9 years old January 11, 2021

What's it about?

CHRONOS: BEFORE THE ASHES is a single-player fantasy role-playing game (RPG) that challenges you to fight off an invading evil force that threatens your homeland. By descending deeper into dungeons, you'll wield all kinds of melee weapons, like swords and clubs, as well as unlock special powers and abilities, to obliterate those who stand in your path. Along with real-time combat, you'll solve environmental puzzles, explore areas, and level up based on your experience (in the areas of strength, agility, arcane, and vitality). As an interesting twist, every time you die in this third-person dungeon crawler, you'll age one year, which will alter your abilities over time. For example, what you begin to lose in nimbleness, you might gain in managing magic. Chronos: Before the Ashes is based on 2016's VR-only Chronos, and serves as a prequel to 2019's Remnant: From the Ashes.

Is it any good?

For a title you might not have heard much about, this is a surprisingly fun action-heavy role-playing game (RPG) that delivers without a ton of complexity or overwhelming difficulty. While it might not have the combat depth, branching storylines or expansive world as other games in this genre, Chronos: Before the Ashes also doesn't contain a lot of the content that might concern parents from these titles. The game features many of the similar environments and fantastical enemies found in Remnant, which might please fans of the original game, but on the flipside might disappoint those looking for an entirely fresh approach. The developers recycled some -- but not all -- of its atmospheric Remnant game, and could have added a few extra unique and fresh ideas into the mix.

The real-time combat is pretty straightforward and you'll learn the nuances of each choice, such as a staff that favors speed and an axe that delivers more power. You can use your shield defensively (parrying, blocking), master chained attacks, practice dodges, and aim to shrink your enemy's health score. Magic stones also can give you temporary effects such as invincibility or miniaturization, while boss battles often require you to study behavior and apply tactics to win the fight. While a bit repetitive, levels are also well-designed, reducing the need to backtrack to leave an area. Like many other RPGs, you'll level up and spend points to upgrade your stats. But what's unique is growing a year older every time you perish in this game, which will change your attributes over time, which is a great idea. While the graphics and music aren't much to write home about, but the lighting is well done, adding ambience to the action. Chronos: Before the Ashes might not be on many Top 10 games lists this year, but it's a fun and frenetic game that fuses action, role-playing, and adventure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Chronos: Before the Ashes affected by the amount of blood shown as a result of battle? Would the impact be intensified if the violence seemed more realistic?

  • What makes a hero? Is it the willingness to do what's right? The courage to face hazards and threats? Can anyone be a hero, or is that something that only certain people can become?

Game details

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